How to Make a Color Changing LED Lamp






Vinny: Hi, I’m Vinny. This is Makify. I just made this color changing LED lamp and I’m going to show you how I did it.

(Title Screen: Makify Where I make and modify things)

I started by cutting a slab of walnut into 5-inch squares and I did the same for a slab of maple. Then I resewed some of those squares to 1-centimeter thick and resewed some others to half a centimeter thick.

I ended up with:

  • 5 1-centimeter squares of walnut
  • 3 half-centimeter squares of walnut
  • 5 half-centimeter squares of maple
  • 3 1-centimeter squares of maple

I sanded the top and bottom of each of these to remove the saw marks. I arranged the squares into a nice pattern; one for the base of the lamp and one for the top of the lamp. You can download the plans for free linked down below.

I set aside the bottom and top layers of the top of the lamp and the bottom and top layers of the base of the lamp. Then, I glued the remaining layers of the top together and let them dry. And glued the remaining layers of the base together and let those dry.

I marked the center of each of the pieces and cut them into circles with four-and-a-half-inch diameter using my homemade circle cutting jig and a bandsaw. I printed out a template of two pentagons, each with 1.8-millimeter sides. This template is part of the plans you can download.

I used spray adhesive to attach the template to an extra piece of one-inch thick maple. Then I cut the pentagon’s out with a bandsaw. My cheap, old bandsaw blade broke while I was cutting, so I had to order a new one. I got a much better one this time though. With the new bandsaw blade installed I was able to finish cutting the pentagon. The new blade cut much better than the old one, especially cutting through the hard maple.

Then, I sanded the pentagons with my homemade drill powered lathe with a sanding disc attached. I also sanded the faces of those circle pieces to get them nice and smooth.

I used the largest forstner bit I own to drill out the center of the main section of the base and top of the lamp. I drilled about halfway through with the forstner bit, then used a small bit to drill all the way through. Then flipped the pieces and used the small holes to line up the forstner bit so I could drill all the way through.

This forstner bit is a little bit too much for my little drill press to handle, so it was slow going, but I eventually made it all the way through both pieces.

On the side of the base, I drilled a 15/32-inch hole and then drilled a 11/32-inch hole right above that. These holes will accommodate the power plug and sensor of a LED controller.

I placed the bottom layer onto the bottom of the base and drilled 3/32-inch pilot holes through the bottom layer and into the other layers. Then countersunk those with a quarter-inch countersink bit.

At this point, I glued the top layer onto the base of the lamp and let that dry. Then glued the bottom layer onto the top of the lamp and let that dry. I attached the bottom layer to the base of the lamp with 1-inch long number 5 wood screws in the holes I drilled earlier. I temporarily attached the top layer of the top with double-sided tape. Then, I sanded the assembled base and the assembled top to get everything nice and smooth.

I centered a pentagon on the top and one on the base and marked their positions before gluing them into place.

The center section of the lamp was made from aluminum channels designed for LED strip lights. This channel comes with a diffuser that snaps into place. I cut five pieces of channel, each 10-inches in length. This channel cuts easily and nicely with a hacksaw.

I placed a piece of channel against each side of both pentagons and marked the interior perimeter. I cleared out this marked section by drilling a series of 3/16-inch holes and cleaned up these holes by filing them.

I drilled a 5/64-inch hole in both ends of each channel. These holes were a half-inch from the end of the channel. Then I used these holes to mark drill locations in each pentagon and used the cordless drill to drill 5/64-inch pilot holes at these spots.

I went back and countersunk the holes in the channels with a quarter-inch countersink bit. The countersink bit caused the back of the channel to flare out a little bit, so I filed it down with a flat file.

I finished the wood with tung oil finish. I applied three coats, sanding lightly with triple ought steel wool between coats. When the finish was completely dry, I screwed on the channels with 3/8-inch number four wood screws.

 

The LED kit I used came with a strip of RGB LEDs, a power supply, an LED controller and a remote. There’s a link below to this kit.

I unscrewed the bottom of the lamp and mixed up some quick set epoxy and epoxyed the power plug and the sensor of the LED controller into the holes I drilled earlier. I cut 5 10-inch pieces of the LED strip. This LED strip can be cut at specific spots that are two-inches apart. This LED strip is waterproof and has a thick plastic coating that I needed to cut away from the pads.

I got some four-strain wire made specifically for RGB LED strip lights and cut four pieces, each about 3-inches long. I stripped the wire on both ends of these pieces and I also stripped the ends of the four wires connected to the plug that I had cut off the end of the LED strip. Then I pre-tinned all the wires and I pre-tinned all of the pads on the LED strips. I soldered the plug onto one end of one of the LED strips, making sure to match the wires on the correct pads, and soldered a segment of wire onto the other end. Then, I soldered the other three wire segments onto three other LED strips.

The LED strips need to be wired together in series and I planned how I was going to wire them up before soldering anything. I removed the top of the lamp, which was just held on with double-sided tape and installed the first LED strip with the plug. This LED strip light, like most, has adhesive on the back. I removed the backing and stuck this first strip to the aluminum channel. It probably would have been better if I had waited to do this though. I installed the other strips one at a time, installing the wires from one strip to the bare pads of the next strip. This was a little tricky, but not having the strips stuck to the channel at this point really helped.

Then, I connected the plug to the LED controller. I plugged in the power supply and tested out the lights. After I verified that everything was working properly, I removed the backing from the LED strips and attached them to the aluminum channel. I removed the protective film from the diffusers and snapped those into place.

Then I screwed the bottom back on and reattached the top with double-sided tape. I was originally planning on gluing the top in place after I made sure everything worked, but the double-sided tape worked so well, that I used it again. I might glue to the top in place in the future though.

I’m really pleased with the way this lamp turned out. I really like the alternating walnut and maple pattern. There’s lots of color changing LED strip light kits out there, this particular kit came with a remote, has a bunch of preset colors you can pick through, you can come up with your own colors. There’s also some fading and flashing effects, but what really brings the lamp together are these aluminum channels with diffusers. They’re most commonly used when installing access lighting when you don’t want to see the LED strips. They cover that up and also help diffuse the light, which is nice. They really are a nice product. You can order them on dropality.com and on Amazon. I have links to both of those down below as well as links to all the other supplies I used in this project.

I hope you liked the video. I hope you found it helpful. If you did, give it a thumbs up, you can also subscribe to keep up to date with my newest videos. You can help support these videos on Patreon or buying something from my Etsy shop. You can also follow me on Twitter. Thanks for watching.

(Outtakes)

Hi, I’m Vinny, I just made this LED color changing…it didn’t turn on.

Oh, my, it is not comfortable sitting like this.

There’s people outside making noise. Seriously.

But I think…

I have links to both of those down below as well…

This is not comfortable. Let’s get this right.

What the heck. Patreon. Twitter. Oh, the Etsy shop.

Oh my, crampola. Whoo.

Holy cow, my legs are killing me.

 

 
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